2018 Winter Lecture Series

Mahler's Symphonic world

8 Wednesday Evenings with Russell Steinberg, Ph.D.

January 17- March 7, 2018, 7:00-9:00PM
(Lectures in Encino, CA—address will be provided)

Complete Series: $440 Individual Evenings: $60


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(Note: If you would like to purchase multiple lectures but do not plan to purchase the complete series, you must add them to your cart individually.)

Watch my Mahler Series Trailer

   "A symphony must be like the world.   It must contain everything."   

 "A symphony must be like the world. It must contain everything."

Unable to attend the lectures?
Click to pre-order Audio Downloads of the entire series: $99
Downloads will be available April 15, 2018
Listen at home, in your car, at the gym, etc.

Pay by mail: Make check out to "Masterwork Journeys" and send to
Masterwork Journeys
4924 Balboa Blvd. #162
Encino, CA 91316


Gustav Mahler’s symphonies are among the most intoxicating and even addictive experiences in all classical music listening. Part of their emotional impact comes from the fact that they bridge the 19th and 20th centuries. They look backward with a sense of culmination and nostalgia for the Romantic era, but also look forward to the new sonic and structural implications of the modern era. But there is far to them than the time they were written. Mahler discovered a way to take the immersive world of characters, symbols, and emotions in a Wagner opera and place it within the abstract sonic tapestry of the symphony orchestra.

In eight evenings together, we explore four of Mahler's symphonies from his early, middle, and late periods using piano examples, recordings, and your participation and discussion. We will follow Mahler’s compositional ideas and his ingenious use of the symphony orchestra, beginning with the first and second symphonies with their heroic narratives, then on to the mystical fourth symphony, the tragic sixth symphony, and great sublime farewell of the ninth symphony that seems to usher in our modern age. Curiosity and enthusiasm is a must, but previous knowledge of music is not necessary to enjoy these evenings.

Week 5 February 14—Mahler Symphony No. 6
Darkness—Premonitions and the Fall of the Hammer

Week 6 February 21—Mahler Symphony No. 6
Mahler's "Tragic" Symphony 

Week 7 February 28—Mahler Symphony No. 9
The Sigh of the World and the Sublime Final Adagio

Week 8 March 7—Mahler Symphony No. 9
It is terrifying, and paralyzing, as the strands of sound
disintegrate ... in ceasing, we lose it all. But in letting go,
we have gained everything
–Leonard Bernstein

Week 1 January 17—Mahler Symphony No. 1
Dilemma—Program or Absolute Music?
Worlds of reference
Fusing Schubert and Wagner
Wunderhorn Symphonies

Week 2 January 24—Mahler Symphony No. 2
Funeral Rites and Resurrection

Week 3 January 31—Mahler Symphony No. 2
A Song For All Humanity Answering Beethoven's 9th
Both Art Song and Choir in the Symphony

Week 4 February 7—Mahler Symphony No. 4
"The Heavenly Life"
Backwards to Haydn and Sublime Structure

Responses from past lecture participants

Insightful yet understandable analysis of the musical structure of each piece with an infectious enthusiasm and excitement about the pure joy of beautiful music!
Barry and Wendy Feinberg

We were mesmerized by the insights you gave us about the program.
Carlos Carossino

The concert was wonderful but made more enjoyable after your talk. The fellow sitting next to me, who I never saw before, kept referring to your comments.
Howard Ader

I thoroughly enjoy your wonderful lectures.  They are educational, interactive and fun!  I also appreciate the genuine passion you express.
Sue Chen